Thursday, 14 July 2011

Alternative therapies

As I write, I'm listening to a medical researcher on the radio urging doctors to stop recommending unproven alternative therapies.

It's interesting that people like to trust things that are considered "natural", or "alternative", whether or not there's any proof that they work.

Of course, it's getting harder to tell what is and isn't proven.  I was looking at weight loss things on the internet. I actually subscribe to CalorieKing.com.au which is a reputable weight loss website, which does weight loss the old-fashioned proven way - with nutritional education and counting energy, etc.

One site I discovered, sold a product which it claimed was "clinically proven".  It didn't give any reference to who had done these trials when or where or where they were published.  Curious, I emailed the company and asked if they could tell me where the results of the clinical trials were published.

Their (totally unedited) reply is:

Hi Iris,

Thank you for your email. There has been significant amount of research done on the effectiveness of all of the ingredients for weight loss, and they all work well to help the body to work more efficiently to lose weight.

The ingredients in Liproxenol have been combined in a synergistic formula which means that each individual ingredient works more effectively in combination with the other ingredients than they would when used independent of each other.

Thanks,

Louise
Customer Support Team



In other words, for the sake of advertising on the internet, someone's vague idea that something might work, counts as  clinical evidence.  I'm sure if I looked into it further, the advertising would have originated from some country that has lower standards in its advertising regulation than Australia does.


When you're sick and in pain, or even just desperate to lose weight, any offer of help or hope seems like something to grab on to. But the truth is that many of the "alternatives" are totally unproven, and not worth the money. If someone advertises their product as "clinically proven", but can't give you details of a reputable organisation doing the studies on it, you know it's all a con act. Save your money.

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